Does your husband throw away plastic containers? Does your wife idle the car too long? Do your children constantly leave the lights or the tv on when they leave the room? Is your family complaining because you have cut out processed foods and feed them only local, organic food? Do some members of your family think climate change is a myth? Do you find yourself getting frustrated and angry because not everyone is on board?
Even though you know you are doing the right thing, it’s inevitable that not all family members will be as passionate about the environment as you are. I know I am constantly taking used paper towel rolls out of the trash and putting them in the paper-recycling bin. Or I have to stop my husband from throwing away an empty jar. Whether it’s arguments over the correct way to discipline a child or planning your retirement, a certain amount of conflict is normal between spouses, family members or friends. When tensions arise about going green, handle it just like any other disagreement.
- Educate – explain the importance of a greener lifestyle and why it is necessary. Taking care of the earth now will insure a better earth for future generations.
- Lead by example – no one is going to adopt new methods if you don’t do it yourself.
- Try not to nag – be patient, everyone eventually catches on but it takes time.
- Introduce new habits slowly – start with the easiest habits first like turning off the water when you brush your teeth, add non-toxic cleaning supplies and work up to an electric car!
- Make it fun! Let your kids decide for themselves which green tip they want to do.
- Reward the family with a fun outing using the money you have saved by conserving electricity or cutting back on junk food.
There will come a time when we look back and say, “Can you imagine we used to put toxic chemicals on our lawn? “ Start making a difference now, it’s easy!